BOZEMAN — A federal judge has put on hold a settlement that would require the government to consider greater protections for hundreds of imperiled species.
Attorneys said Tuesday that U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the Obama administration to resume negotiations with environmentalists over the deal.
The Center for Biological Diversity objects to the deal, saying it is unenforceable and leaves out important species of animals and plants.
The settlement has been embraced by other conservationists as a breakthrough in addressing a decades-long backlog of action on species in danger of extinction.
The agreement would give the Interior Department six years to consider whether more protections are needed for more than 800 plants and animals.
The next hearing in the case is set for June 20.